Simple questions about display resolution


macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 30, 2008

Full disclosure, I'm kind of a noob about displays. But I am looking to buy a new monitor and had a question that should be pretty easy to answer.

I am currently using a Dell 1905FP to display from my Macbook Air.

This monitor is square shaped with a maximum resolution of 1280 x 1024. I don't like it because the Mac interface is just blown up and squished on the monitor. I'm guessing that this is because the monitor resolution is not ideal for my 1440 x 900 Macbook Air resolution. Is that right?

I'm thinking of buying a widescreen Dell 2009WT off craigslist with a maximum resolution of 1680 x 1050.

Will this display with a larger resolution allow the Mac interface to look more like it does on my Macbook Air's native display?


macrumors 65816
Apr 25, 2007
Dallas, TX
I obviously haven't used your monitor, but I believe there should be a setting in OS X where you can tell it to optimize things for the external monitor. That might make things better?

That being said, I currently have my iMac outputting to a 1900x1200 monitor and it looks great. So your theory might be correct.


macrumors regular
Sep 25, 2006
If you got to System Preferences, click on Display Preferences, you should see a list of available resolutions for your monitor :cool: All LCD monitors look best at its native resolution.


macrumors 68040
May 27, 2008
you need to turn off mirroring, you don't want the same thing on both screens at the same time.

you either need to turn off the air's display entirely and run at the resolution of the external, or run dual monitors, with each at it's native resolution.